Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Power Vertical

The Briefing: Syria After Munich

Munich 2016: A Bear In A Dove Suit (cartoon by Sergei Elkin)
Munich 2016: A Bear In A Dove Suit (cartoon by Sergei Elkin)
By Brian Whitmore

Anybody who was expecting Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to make conciliatory noises at the Munich Security Conference must have been severely disappointed.

And anybody who was expecting the cease-fire agreement reached in Munich last week to result in an actual cease-fire must be severely disappointed as well.

Not only is Russia's bombing campaign in Aleppo continuing, but now Turkey and Saudi Arabia are threatening to send in ground troops -- something Moscow says could lead to a global conflict.

On this week's Power Vertical Briefing, I discuss Syria after Munich with Pavel Butorin, managing editor of RFE/RL's Russian-language television program Current Time.


Power Vertical Briefing, February 15, 2016
The Briefing: Syria After Munichi
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NOTE: The Power Vertical Briefing is a short look ahead to the stories expected to make news in Russia in the coming week. It is hosted by Brian Whitmore, author of the Power Vertical blog, and appears every Monday.



This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Marcus
February 15, 2016 15:32
Soviet Union was ruled by a power triangle with the Communist Party at the apex and the KGB and the Red Army at the base points. The only thing that took place at fall of the Soviet Union was that the triangle turned. Today the KGB is at the apex and the Army and the Party are at the base points.

Russia is a dictatorship and Russia's all friends are dictatorships.

Russia has decided to defend the Syrian dictatorship and will crush all its opponents in Syria. Russia regards all opponents to the Syrian regime as terrorists and will bomb them all. The civilian population that support the rebels are a target as well.

Russia has a dark view of the world and the future. They know that the Middle East and North Africa are over-populated and that the region is collapsing. They know that the American military intervention in the region helped the collapse to start. They know that the spread of democracy in the region is doomed to fail. They know that a refugee crisis with millions of Muslim refugees will collapse Europe. They hope that a European collapse will change Europe politically.

I see this as a war between Democracy and Dictatorship.

by: James from: USA
February 15, 2016 16:25
Liberation of Syria's Aleppo - the Western media tries to hide the reality from public. Commenting on the situation in Syria's Aleppo, veteran French journalist and geopolitical analyst Jean-Michel Vernochet says that it took Russia's air operation in the conflict for the duplicity of the Western-Arab coalition against Daesh to come to light.

In an op-ed analysis for the independent French news and analysis website Boulevard Voltaire, Vernochet commented on the Syrian Army's efforts to liberate Aleppo, Syria's second city, slamming European and American media and officials for what he said was a highly 'duplicitous' position.

"On February 1," the journalist recalled, the Syrian Army, with the support of Russian aviation, launched a large-scale operation to liberate Aleppo, the former economic capital of Syria," a part of which "has been in the hands of the rebellion since 2012."

"As always, the media began effusively writing about the crowds of people fleeing from the fighting and the advance of government forces. The only thing missing in the picture being painted were the images of the residents of the city's Western neighborhoods, who welcomed the government troops as liberators."

"Deeply moved" by the pictures appearing in Western media, "US Secretary of State John Kerry immediately demanded that Russia halt the bombing of civilians."

But "the truth," Vernochet noted, "is far more prosaic, because if the city of Aleppo is completely surrounded by government forces, the rebel supply corridor with Turkey will be cut. Specifically, [it is about] two roads, between Mayer-Azaz and Andan-Aleppo, through which the Salafist- Wahhabists receive reinforcements, weapons, and ammunition from the Turkish deep state...
Read more here:

by: Michael K from: USA
February 15, 2016 16:52
What is the REAL reason Putin is fighting ISIS? Because the USA government is a bunch of warmongers, who created ISIS, and trained them. If anyone doesn't believe that BY NOW, then tell me why Russians did more damage to ISIS during their FIRST MONTH campaign, than USA did in YEARS? That's why no one will stop Putin. Many countries tried to take over Russia/ USSR, and many have failed... and now the US wants to take over Russia using it's proxy force of ISIS in the near future. But ask Hitler and Napoleon how that went.
I recommend to listen more about it from Christopher Greene of AMTV:

by: Knektsång
February 16, 2016 09:11
I found this site a couple of weeks ago via the Interpreter magazine, this stuff is great! I just wanted to let you know because in the comments section one could be led to believe something else given the number of trolls and conspiracy nutjobs. /Sweden

by: Kim J from: Toronto, Canada
February 17, 2016 14:38
The USA is Israel's private army, what a frigging warmongers. So we are now in the process of bringing in a law into Canada that will make it a criminal offense to speak against Israel... Guess l am going to be classed as a criminal. Nothing will stop me from spreading truths like this so the world will see who are the real terrorists.

by: Will from: Poland
February 17, 2016 14:46
The US itself afraid to send boots on the Syrian grounds, that's why using and funding terrorists to do their jobs. They remember what happened in Iraq - planes full of the US soldiers' coffins wraps in stars and stripes flags. Puppet countries now contributing with ground troops while US just flying in the and sky dropping bombs on innocent people of Syria and Iraq...

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The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or